Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Bubbling Along - Avoiding the Upset

By Mel Greenberg

With Western Kentucky having taken a hit by not winning the conference title in the Sun Belt, here's what the Hilltoppers need to watch this weekend.

There's no guarantee that any of the following would be rescued, but for Western Kentucky to have a better shot for redemption, it needs to cheer for Hartford (America East), Old Dominion (CAA), Bowling Green (Mid-American), Indiana State (Missouri Valley), and Louisiana Tech (Western Athletic).

Teams on the bubble will also be cheering likewise to have better chances to gain at-large bids.

Since they're all perceived to be in the so-called "one-team" conferences, here's how they compared at the close of business, Friday night. RPIs come from the CollegeRPI.com page on the internet.

We'll be back late tonight when we know if they took the easy path with an automatic bid.

But here they are in a list of no particular order with a little comment from yours truly:

Hartford (24-3) -- RPI - 36. Strength of schedule 128. Weak SOS, but no losses to 100+ teams and 1-2 against Top 50 and 4-3 against the top 100.
Because Stony Brook has been mentioned out of the America East, the record is 20-8, RPI - 26, Strength of schedule is 29. However, 2-3 against Top 50, 5-5 against the Top 100, but three losses to 100+ teams. Hartford on the road is 12-3, Stony Brook is 7-6, but two have come out of here once before.

Old Dominion (21-8). RPI - 16. SOS - 19. Monarchs usually save us difficult work on Saturday night by winning the CAA. 1-7 against the Top 50, and 7-8 against the Top 100. No bad losses.

Bowling Green (27-2). RPI - 41. SOS 179. 0-1 Top 50. 6-2 Top 100. But SOS reading means, it's safer to win the MAC.

Indiana State (25-4). RPI 37. SOS 110. 1-2 against Top 50. 7-2 against top 100. Better to win the conference because of SOS readout. Remember, all of these are going to be compared against the official bubble crowd from the power conferences.

Louisiana Tech (25-4). RPI - 35. SOS 109. But Techsters are playing a team for the WAC title whose rpi is above 200. 0-2 top 50. 5-4 top 100. Need to be the only wrong loser today, not to fare better against the others in this category, but to be in the mix with the regular bubble crowd.

That said, we will go to the next post.

-- Mel

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